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th:; THO:r::AU society bullstik 

Number 5 Sopter.ibcr 1943 



Our BULLBITIK seems to have revived v/ith a bang. A 3''ear of silence, 
and noiv tv^'o issues in alrr;ost as many months. But this is not a regular 
issue. Rather it is a report of a neetins some of us had in Nev; York 
City on July eighteenth. The day after this m.eeting the NBv YORK SUN 
published the follov/ing account of it in one of its editorial columns: 

"A Nev/ York member of a sm.all society of persons in- 
terested in the philosophy of Heniy David Thoreau sent ou.t 
invitations to a m.eeting at the American i.Iuseunt of IJatural 
'History, It was called for last Sunday afternoon, V/ho 
attended? A Naval Lieutenant arrived by plane from Vir- 
ginia, A letter carrier and a salesman came from Phil- 
adelphia, A teacher in an engineering college came from. 
Staten Island, tv;o other teachers from New Jersey, as did 
a farmer-editor. Two advertising men, a vjoatan novelist, " 
a writer on natural history, a Rabbinical student were 
there; also a city TiviCA secretary, two girls in slacks, 
a 'hobo philosopher' and a woman resident of a iiaruiattan 
hotel, kore than two hours passed in talks on Thoreau' s 
work and life, his meaning to m.odern students, his appeal 
as an advocate of simple living, 

"Such a .meeting, sm.all as it was, is a slim strav; in 
the wind. Yet the fact that in the heart of Nev/ York a 
public gathering was held of people v;ho had in coiiimon no- 
thing but an interest in the ideas of a man vvho died eighty- 
one years ago. might have astonished Thoreau himself had he 
looked in at the door..c," 

Those of us who attended enjoyed it so m^uch that we wanted to tell 
the rest of you about it, V/e talked about so many different things that 
it V70uldn't be practical to put them all on paper. So, instead of tel.!- 
ing you what we heard at the meeting, v/e decided to tell you what brought 
us to it — our individual attitudes toward Thoreau, each as individual 
as Thoreau himself: 

DANIEL BErmSTEIlI, Naval Lieutenant: "Thanks to Thoreau 's inspiration I 
found a new set of values^ ''ambition (to farm), and even a new hobby (find- 
ing out about Thoreau, his tLmes, and the people he has influenced." 

ARTHUR CHRISTY, College Literature Professor; "Ly interest is in Thoreau 's 
place in intellectual histoiy and his debt to books, i.e. the sources of 
his ideas." 

ANNE COLVER, Novelist: "i.Iy interest in H.D.T. was a part of an interest 
in the whole Concord group - out of v;hich grew my novel. As a cha^^acter, 
Thoreau was puzzling. He bccanie so real that he threatened to pop into 
almost every ch»apter-and I had to keep a firmi I'ejn to hold him back fro.m 
running a.way wj.th the book. In other vcords, Henry Thoreau is an alive 
personality. I thinl-: that is why my interest in him rose and v;}y it 
rem.ains," 



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September 3.943 TKii; THOIjIAU SCCXilTY 3'JLLE'iI!>] Page 2 

HOBLKT CUhBliRLANDj En-^ineGring Colle-jo Professor: I lind my stucieiits inter- 
ested in Thoreau "the capable -nnd adaptable practical raar, the man of keen 
cense perception, the rir.n critical of the politics of hio ti'-.'<e, ar.d the nian 
cri"tical of social trends," 

HEInIRY FOLEY: "i:y ir.terost ia in Tlioreau the i.idividualist , I bel.ieve this 
Ride is infinitely r.ore L\.poi'taiit in our prerent ccnlitj.ons tann any back- 
to-the-land or back-to-nature .loveiuent, J believe th: t if the Society could _ 
start a camp'd^n for individual freedo:.. it mi^'tit bo tl'ie i..eans of orcanisin^ 
Americans icho are hunc_;ry for tiie old freedoa of A:^.erica." 

ViALTER KAKDING, Civilian lublic Service: "I study Thdreau so that I n;ay 
better understand nyself as a huir^an being. He has revealed hit:isolf so 
completely in his Journals that he represents to rae i:.an« In his thinking 
he has set an ideal of intellectual freedo.n that has become i.ny goal." 

ilRS. LILLIAN H3/J:ST: "Farm Journal offered a prize for a best letter on 
farjit life. Never having lived en a farm, I wrote "Fc.r~: Life as Visualised 
frorii a Hotel Viindov.'"o I vion the prize 1 I^.eceived ovsi' 100 letters frcrA 
farn v;oiiien. One afiked for Thcreau's V Jald en, so I also bought a book for 
myself as I was ignorant of such philosoph.yo Since then I ajn a Tliorcau 
ad'.iirer," 

GLAYrON HO^GLAND, Editorial Vvriter: 'Tor mo licnry Thoreau v;ill a3.v;ays 
stand above all other HiV.'erlcv.n political v'riters for !:is chrapioning of 
individualisr;. as oppo::'ed to the erccessive authority of the State or of the 
r.ass of men over the minority and the person. Eat a3r.:Ost as strong for ine 
is the appeal of Thoreau' s advocacy of S2.niple living for richer life. A 
secondary but ir:iportant interest i-s in the poetry of his pros^j s.bout nature," 

TRA KCCVER, !^ail Carrier: "Thoi'eau is v;oven into the ^veb and v:oof of rriy 
thinl<ing processes, because I have been reading hi/a for rr.ore than thirty- 
'fivc years, I like hiro for his responsive soiisitiveness to the objects in 
the v.'orld he lived, his ir.oysl sense appeals to me, too, Ee never steeps 
to the vulgar. Friendship, to hin;, \."as a thing divine. As a literary 
craftsman lie v;as an ;.'ibist, Ke is the best Co.nrade I havo ever knov;n, 

lEOFARD KLEirFIELD, Business jJan: 'Tnoreau v;as a prober - a perfectionist. 
His crisp, c].eai' ar.d concise observations not orily ..icke definite contribu- 
tions to the li.terary age in wiiich he lived, but erui^nce his reputation as 
a social philosopher. Perfection based on honest convictaons occupied all 
his moments and I am grateful to hLn for his true interpretctions," 

L. lEliRi.L*'.?": "I believe that Thoreau vas a rare spirit, a classicrl v/riter 
and an apcstle to tlie ntli degree of the principle 'Plain living and high 
thinking'. For this reason he has my reverence," 

ROGIhR PAYEE, Kobo Philosopher: "ily interest in Thort.au is mainly based 
upon his phi].osopl'iy as o^ipressed in his sayings: 'To maintain one's self 
en this earth is not a hardship but a pastiiiie if wo will live si-riply and 
wisely... For more than five years I have maintriricd myself.. by v;orking si>: 
wecks in a "ear." 



September 1943 'THS THCIKAU CCCIF-TY BULL^TI/I Pago 3 

JOHN SCCTT, EconoiTiist: "I appreciate jno:;t Thoreau's philosophy of life, 
based on oconoiny, and his siii:,r:;ar3^ of v/hai a philosopher is^ what }:e feels, 
how he lives. His evaluation of the state and his sti^u.^i^jle against the 
state app>i;al to me strongly. Ho lived poetry in a v;ay that has touclied and 
moved me deeplyo" 

JOSEPH RABINOWITZ, Student: "I adi.dre the frsedoi'i Thororu maintained through 
life, not enslaving hln.self, £.nd not being enslaved by the state, reli.^^ion, 
science, or a job, Hu also kn^w himself, his mind, heart, soul, and depended 
upon his natural fellings for securiti'^, rnd not 'on the institution that 
j\i'anted to substitute God v;ith. their opinions and il.a'vvso" 

I'SS. E. I. V.'AKEFIil.D: "Thoreau sought uncoasing;].^'- to get down to the roots 
cf life and things. He r;as gloriously and uncoiT.v^^rcvd singly revolutionary 
in l:is thinking, And above all else he preserved the perfect integrit:/ of 
the soul. His significance ].ioE in his absolute rnd inviolate spiritual 
integrity - in his purity and r<^ctitude cf r..ind and heart; in his life-long 
dedication to and service of the h.ighest ethical values and ideals." 

ED'iA.RD Vvi^r."i';jii] j'vGI-IEIi, Saleaman: "Thoreau has given ms so much that is personal 
that my attacbnent is far above literary valuations, I admire not Thoreau 
the Naturalist, thu Philosopher, the Poet - but Henry Thoreau - complete 
and entire." 

JO ANIJ Vk'HEELF.R, Teacher: "One whose ^/ay of life and thought cuts directly 
across the grain of conventional philosophy must necessarily find pleasure 
in the hard-bitten Vi'isdo::_ of Thoro?u. VJe h-:;v-,j miany riioaients of despondency, 
even despair. For these Thoreau is a great backbone stiffener, for he did 
more than evolve a philosophy for hiiuself - he lived it^ He v;as a m.an of 
integrity and moral courage, especially v.orthy of respect in tnis present 
age of subserviencOc-'.' 

Our thanks to the liuse^^m of Hotural History for the use of Room 1,?9 
for our moeting, to the contributors to this issue for taking th'i timij to 
mail in their statem.cnts, '.nd to those \iho undonvrote tl:is issue financially, 

v,'c are revisirg our mailir:g list and bringing it up to date. If a red 
check appears next to tnis paragraph (or if this BULLETIN had to be for- 
warded to you from, another cddi-ess) please notify Ull^ KAYi.OND ;-.D;i.;3, 
BOX 7^2, CnAFEL HILL, rJ.C. Otherv;ise j-our na;..;e Vvili bu dropped from, the 
mailing list vdth this issue, 

We'd like to publish the rULTETJK m.ore frequently. Ple'^;se help us 
write it by sjnding .■■ny Thore-au n^-ws or thoughts to Dr, Adrms. 



y/alt Harding c7^ 

Daniel Bernstein 
^Eor thci Nevf York GrQi;p)